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Soccer players from six N.Ky. high schools on select team that won boys 16-under national title

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Soccer players from six Northern Kentucky high schools are members of the Kings Hammer Academy select team that won the boys under-16 tournament at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships held in Sarasota and Bradenton, Fla.

In the tournament final last Sunday, Kings defeated Las Vegas Sports Academy, 5-0, to bring home the  championship trophy.  The team earned a berth in the four-team knockout bracket by placing second in pool play with a 1-0-2 record and defeated All Nations Sports Academy of Texas, 2-0, to reach the final.

The Kings’ roster has 18 players from Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. The players from Northern Kentucky high schools are Landon Barth and Aidan Byrd (Ryle), Gavin Green and Mason Pemberton (Cooper), Chad Gesenhues (Highlands), Grey Jordan (Covington Catholic), Ryder Kennedy (Dixie Heights) and Ethan Dyer (Conner).

Barth and Pemberton received Golden Glove Awards as the championship team’s goaltenders. The other awards went to Timmy Griffin for being the team’s leading goal scorer and Charlie Isphording as a tournament’s best player. Both of them live in Cincinnati.

The other Kings players on coach James Thomas’ roster are Landon Nates, Lucas de Alarcon, Jackson Hollander, Kasen Johnston, Jason Cosby, Jair Leal-Gutierrez, Landon Wagner and Jacob Tan.

Kings earned a berth in the USYS national tournament by winning the boys 16-under title at the Midwest Regional Championships held in in St. Louis during the last week of June.

The 2021 Kentucky high school soccer season for boys and girls is set to begin on August 9.


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